Be A Man of God
For anyone with ‘eyes to see and ears to hear’, it is evident that we are in the very last of the very last days.
I know well that there are countless people who will laugh me to scorn for that statement. So be it… continue to laugh. Please be aware that the time is very short for you. I say that not to threaten, but to warn. I do not have to again recite a litany of proofs… a sober look around you will convince any intellectually honest person that the world we live in is in an appalling mess.
With that incontrovertible fact in mind, a good question to consider is why the world we live in is an appalling mess. Holy Scripture has not an answer, but the answer:
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9)
Sadly, this has been so ever since man’s first disobedience to God in the Garden of Eden, but even (and shortly) after that time, it grew worse by orders of magnitude in the days of Noah when angels transgressed their natural state and inter-married with human women:
When men began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. (Genesis 6:1-2)
The Nephilim were on the earth in those days – and also afterward – when the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown. (Genesis 6:4)
God was distressed (italic emphases mine):
The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The Lord was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. So the Lord said, “I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth – men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air – for I am grieved that I have made them.” (Genesis 6:5-8)
God shortly thereafter sent the Flood, which destroyed every living thing on earth.
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, predicted what would happen to the world… far beyond the time when He walked the earth during His ministry… note the mention of ‘the days of Noah’:
“No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. (Matthew 24:36-39)
In the days of Noah, the earth was filled with violence, corruption and every wicked thought and act that man in his sinful nature could conceive of, bring to fruition and desecrate himself with; nothing was held sacred and revered, God was not honored and glorified, and man had carried this horrific travesty to its fullest and most evil effect: he had become his own god.
Doesn’t that sound 100% like the world we live in at the present time?
We can be assured that God’s judgment is coming. For those of you still laughing, consider this (note the mention of the world having been deluged and destroyed; italic emphasis mine):
First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. (2 Peter 3:3-7)
There is hope, thankfully, from the hand of a merciful God (italic/underline emphasis mine):
But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:8-9)
Please note… carefully… that, just as God’s patience was exhausted in the days of Noah, God’s patience will, at some point (and I believe that point to be very near) be exhausted in these very last of the very last days. God will not delay forever; because of that…
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. (Galatians 6:7)
I ache and grieve in my heart when I hear so many say… which is to ridicule and make of no account the Living God who gave His Only Son Jesus Christ so that everyone who believes would have the free pardon of sin by belief in the atoning and sacrificial death of Jesus Christ… that they can’t bring themselves to believe in a God that doesn’t exist and therefore doesn’t matter. God does not need the assent of His created beings to be what He is: He is Almighty God the Father, the Uncreated Creator, the Great I AM, the Just, Pure, Holy and Righteous One, the Ancient of Days, the KING of kings and LORD of lords, the Messiah, the Savior, the Good Shepherd, the Lover of our Souls, the One and Perfect Sacrifice, the Lamb of God, the Lion of Judah, the Holy Ghost… His titles are infinite and perfect. He knows what has come in these very last of the very last days, for He has spoken of it through men inspired by the Holy Ghost to write His Holy Scripture:
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God – having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them. (2 Timothy 3:1-5)
If you are still laughing, please consider 2 solid facts:
1) The Holy Scripture is approximately 1/3 prophecy… predictions of what is to come.
2) In terms of prophecies made and fulfilled (as an example, the 360+ separate prophecies foretelling the advent of Jesus Christ thousands/hundreds of years before His birth), the Holy Scripture has a perfect track record… NOT EVEN A SINGLE PROPHECY HAS FAILED TO BE FULFILLED. Only prophecies described and understood as yet to be fulfilled remain.
The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good. (Psalm 14:1)
With all of this in mind, what does the Holy Scripture say about what we should do? There is a warning (God’s patience is running out!) and an answer (how we should live) (italic emphases mine):
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. (2 Peter 3:10-12)
Be a man of God…
What is involved in this?
TRUST IN GOD
In the book of Genesis, we see this story of what it means to have a single-minded trust in God (italic emphasis mine):
The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” So Abram left, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Haran. (Genesis 12:1-4)
Without anything other than the Word of God, and God’s promise, Abram left everything that he had ever known behind him… his entire life. He did not hesitate, or call into question who God was and why He wanted him, at an advanced age, to go to where God wanted to take Him: Abram didn’t have it all figured out, but… he went as instructed.
Some time later, God revealed more of His plan for Abram (italic emphasis mine):
After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.” But Abram said, “O Sovereign Lord, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.” Then the word of the Lord came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son coming from your own body will be your heir.” He took him outside and said, “Look up at the heavens and count the stars – if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness. (Genesis 15:1-6)
Being a man of God means you believe and obey God when He speaks.
CALL ON GOD
In the book of 1 Kings, we see this story that indicates what it means to call on God in faith and in power (italic emphasis mine):
So Obadiah went to meet Ahab and told him, and Ahab went to meet Elijah. When he saw Elijah, he said to him, “Is that you, you troubler of Israel?” “I have not made trouble for Israel,” Elijah replied. “But you and your father’s family have. You have abandoned the Lord’s commands and have followed the Baals. Now summon the people from all over Israel to meet me on Mount Carmel. And bring the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.” So Ahab sent word throughout all Israel and assembled the prophets on Mount Carmel. Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.” But the people said nothing.
Then Elijah said to them, “I am the only one of the Lord’s prophets left, but Baal has four hundred and fifty prophets. Get two bulls for us. Let them choose one for themselves, and let them cut it into pieces and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. I will prepare the other bull and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the Lord. The god who answers by fire – he is God.”
Then all the people said, “What you say is good.” Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose one of the bulls and prepare it first, since there are so many of you. Call on the name of your god, but do not light the fire.” So they took the bull given them and prepared it. Then they called on the name of Baal from morning till noon. “O Baal, answer us!” they shouted. But there was no response; no one answered. And they danced around the altar they had made. At noon Elijah began to taunt them. “Shout louder!” he said. “Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened.” So they shouted louder and slashed themselves with swords and spears, as was their custom, until their blood flowed. Midday passed, and they continued their frantic prophesying until the time for the evening sacrifice. But there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention.
Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come here to me.” They came to him, and he repaired the altar of the Lord, which was in ruins. Elijah took twelve stones, one for each of the tribes descended from Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord had come, saying, “Your name shall be Israel.” With the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord, and he dug a trench around it large enough to hold two seahs of seed. He arranged the wood, cut the bull into pieces and laid it on the wood. Then he said to them, “Fill four large jars with water and pour it on the offering and on the wood.” “Do it again,” he said, and they did it again. “Do it a third time,” he ordered, and they did it the third time. The water ran down around the altar and even filled the trench.
At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: “O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. Answer me, O Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, O Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.” Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench. When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, “The Lord – he is God! The Lord – he is God!”
Then Elijah commanded them, “Seize the prophets of Baal. Don’t let anyone get away!” They seized them, and Elijah had them brought down to the Kishon Valley and slaughtered there. (1 Kings 18:16-40)
Being a man of God means you call upon God, but… not for some things, little things, big things… for ALL things.
BELIEVE IN GOD’S SON
In the Gospel of Luke, we see this short but incredibly powerful story of faith and belief:
One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!” But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:39-43)
Being a man of God means you believe, even if the cost to you is death, in the One that God has sent to redeem sinners from eternal death by His own sacrificial, atoning death on the cross.
You may ask, ‘Why doesn’t God come? What is He waiting for??’ He is waiting for you… to come to Him. You may ask, ‘Why is God delaying bringing His justice, if that is what He says He is going to do?’ He is delaying because of you… that He might bestow His mercy, forgiveness and compassion on you, because when you believe in His Son Jesus Christ as the perfect sacrifice that paid your debt of eternal death in the lake of fire, God sees Jesus and not your sin.
Do you get it now? Life without God is like an unsharpened pencil: IT HAS NO POINT.
There is no mortal happiness that can hope to match eternal joy. There is no reward we can receive that is greater and more satisfying than the reward God can give. What we have can never last, but what God has lasts forever. Be a man of God… it’s worth it!